The Kerfuffle before Christmas; a night to remember at the Rapids Theatre in Buffalo, NY could be described as a combination of beautiful architecture and pleasant anarchy. If you haven't been to the Rapids Theatre, I highly encourage the trip out to Western New York for those who appreciate the finer things of structural artwork. The night kicked off with The Unlikely Candidates, an American indie rock band from Fort Worth, Texas. Frontman Kyle Morris, who wore a red velvet blazer, had his crowd interacting throughout the band's set. Morris brought the energy to life while opening for the big event with his electrifying performance. He was not afraid to interact with the crowd, running andjumping from both ends of the stage. While Morris was making sure the crowd stayed on their toes during the performance, he was accompanied by two powerhouse guitarists, Brenton Carney and Cole Male. The duo had smooth transitions, switching back and forth from acoustic and electric that brought a nice dynamic to their sound. We all love a group that can make a crowd go wild, but it's nice to settle things down with some truly heartfelt songs. This is exactly what the group brought with their hit song “Novocain” to end their set.
Following up was a three – piece trio based out of Hamilton, Canada called The Dirty Nil. These boys from the north sure know how to bring it down to Buffalo with an aggressive alternative punk rock vibe. Both guitarist Luke Bentham and bassist Ross Miller are on vocals, and they bring to the table a dynamic range of highs and lows that separate them from the bunch. They kicked off their set with synced jumps from high rise platforms that immediately opened with a burst of punk rock riffs and instant crowd surfing. Holding down the beats while the others got wild was drummer Kyle Fisher, making sure that no matter how crazy the others got, there was someone to keep everything moving along smoothly. If there was a drink made from what this group showed that Friday night, it would be one-part punk and one-part rock; making it a perfect Dirty Nil. As crazy and unorthodox this group is, there is a soft spot that could make anyone’s eyes water. This was revealed in the form of a tribute song to guitarist Luke Bentham, whose dog Forest, of thirteen long and beautiful years, had recently passed. Closing out their punk fueled performance that shook the theatre was a festive number called “Christmas at My House," a song that described all the chaos that we deal with every year from annoying parents to pestering little cousins, and everything in-between.
Sum 41 headlined the event, on tour in lieu of their newest release 'Order in Decline.' The group came out on stage with a burst of energy so powerful that confetti cannons shot off. The sound and light show was perfect from all corners of the venue. Frontman and guitarist Deryck Whibley brought that iconic voice of a fast pace lyrical format that we can hear in their ever so popular songs "Fat Lip" and "In Too Deep," while lead Guitarist Dave Baksh shredded solo after solo during the group's performance. Bassist Jason McCaslin's fast bass picking helped establish a never-ending beat to the groups wild, and timeless sound. After so many years as a group it felt as if they never skipped a beat or lost any of that punk-rock rage.